Nights in Panciu     

by Radu Andriescu

On a collective farm in Panciu I climbed with a turkey hen
to the roof of the canteen
we looked around, it was fantastic, I was chortling
she was clucking, a bit frightened
she was a white turkey hen

we could hear voices songs loud curses from the dining hall
the long dormitories next door oozed silence
on all sides only grapevines, I clutched her to my breast
she was frightened
she was like a book you open for the first time

I took her to the canteen, I placed her in front of the singers
her shy movements were more graceful than
a ballerina’s
in her whitest tutu
I took her into the dormitories, I swallowed the protests
she was whiter than the bed sheets
from the roof of the canteen we’d seen the world together

Translated from the Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin with the author

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